Sunbury road upgrade generates work for local people with a disability

(Photo: istock) 211295_01

Zoe Moffatt

Local people with disabilities are working to help with the Sunbury Road upgrade due to a partnership between Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) and a disability support provider

Support provider Distinctive Options Pathways, MRPV and their construction partner Winslow, are providing supported employment through generating work to deliver news on the Sunbury Road upgrade.

As part of this partnership, more than 1000 hours of paid work each year will be provided for local people with a disability.

MRPV director Dipal Sorathia said they are proud to be working with Distinctive Options to provide training and employment opportunities.

“As the Distinctive Options Pathways crew work with us, we’re watching their confidence grow as they interact with the project team socially and during their work duties,” she said.

“I have no doubt this experience will set these individuals up for future opportunities in the workplace.”

The partnership will initially provide work for 12 adults to deliver construction newsletters and notices with information of the upgrades to hundreds of properties.

MRPV said in total more than 100,000 construction notices will be delivered.

Supported employee Peter said he loves getting out into the community and meeting new people.

“[People in the community] appreciate it,” he said. “Sometimes you talk to them, sometimes you hand it to them at the mailbox.”

“I like coming to work because I like meeting good friends of mine – they’re like part of my family.”

Distinctive Options, which is based in Sunbury, currently employs more than 18 people and MRPV said this project will enable them to hire and train more staff, while giving existing staff permanent long-term employment.

So far Distinctive Options supported employment staff have spent more than 250 work hours delivering construction notices to areas in and around Sunbury.

The Sunbury road upgrade is set to improve traffic flow and travel times by adding a lane in each direction and replacing roundabouts with traffic lights at Francis Boulevard and Lancefield Road.

The project, which is expected to be complete in 2025, also includes a new bridge over Jacksons Creek, an extra lane in each direction and a new walking and cycling path along the route.